Robyn Malcolm

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Robyn Malcolm

Robyn Malcolm MNZM (cropped).jpg
Malcolm in 2019
Born (1965-03-15) 15 March 1965 (age 56)
Ashburton, New Zealand
Years active1988–present
Relatives Roger Sutton (brother-in-law)

Robyn Jane Malcolm MNZM (born 15 March 1965) [1] [2] is a New Zealand actress, who first gained recognition for her role as nurse Ellen Crozier on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street .


She is best known for six seasons of playing Cheryl West, matriarch to a sometimes criminal working-class family in the television series Outrageous Fortune , Kirsty Corella in the Australian television series Rake , Julie Wheeler in Upper Middle Bogan and Marina Baxter in The Code . [3]

Early life and education

Malcolm was born in Ashburton, and attended Ashburton College, [4] and graduated from Toi Whakaari (New Zealand Drama School) in 1987. [5] She won an International Actors Fellowship at the Globe Theatre in London for 2003. [6]


Malcolm's first long-running television role was nurse Ellen Crozier in soap opera Shortland Street . She appeared on the show for five years and was nominated for Best Actress at the 1998 TV Guide Television Awards. She was nominated again for her lead role in television feature, Clare, based on the cervical cancer experiment at Auckland's National Women's Hospital which resulted in the Cartwright Inquiry.

In 1999, Malcolm was one of the founding members of the New Zealand Actors' Company along with Tim Balme, Katie Wolfe and Simon Bennett. The company produced and toured a number of successful stage productions throughout New Zealand.

In 2005, Malcolm took on the role of Cheryl West, matriarch of the West family, in Outrageous Fortune . Mixing comedy and drama, the show became one of the highest rating and awarded in New Zealand history. Malcolm won NZ television awards for the role including the Qantas TV Awards for Best Actress in 2005 and 2008, TV Guide Best Actress in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and Air NZ Screen Awards Best Actress in 2007

Malcolm won the Woman's Day Readers' Choice Award for Favourite New Zealand Female Personality in 2005, and New Zealand's sexiest woman at the 2007 TV Guide Best on the Box awards. [7]

Malcolm co-starred in 2010 feature film The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell, playing mother to a family obsessed with go-karting and motorsports. She has also had small roles in movies Absent Without Leave directed by John Laing, The Last Tattoo directed by John Reid, Gaylene Preston's Perfect Strangers , and Christine Jeffs' Sylvia. She had a minor role as Morwen in the second film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

In the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours, Malcolm was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to television and theatre. [8]



Absent Without Leave 1992Betty
The Last Tattoo1994Working girl
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 2002Morwen
Perfect Strangers 2003Aileen
Sylvia 20031st woman at Ted Hughes' lecture
Boogeyman 2005Dr. Matheson
The Lovely Bones 2009Foreman's wifeuncredited
The Hopes & Dreams of Gazza Snell2010Gail Snell
Burning Man 2011Kathryn Dent
Drift 2013Kat Kelly
Dream Baby2015MarianneShort film
Edith2016BarmaidShort film
Goodness Grows Here2017TrishShort film
Hostiles 2017Minnie McGowan
Twenty One Points2018MumShort film
Charmer2018WomanShort film
This Town2020Pam
Dagger-14-plain.pngDenotes films that have not yet been released


Shark in the Park 1989JaniceGuest role (1 episode)
Shark in the Park1990–91Janet FinnGuest role (2 episodes)
Joyful & Triumphant1993RaewynTelevision film
Shortland Street 1994–99 Ellen Crozier Main role (60 episodes)
The Tribe 1999Ma'amGuest role (1 episode)
Clare2000Clare MathesonTelevision film
Op' Stars2000NarratorTelevision documentary
Atlantis High 2001Violet ProfusionGuest role (1 episode)
Mercy Peak 2003LizGuest role (2 episodes)
Intrepid Journeys 2003Herself1 episode
Serial Killers2004PaulineLead role (7 episodes)
Outrageous Fortune 2005–10 Cheryl West Lead role
bro'Town 2009Herself1 episode
Big Night In2009HerselfTelevision special
The Jaquie Brown Diaries 2009HerselfGuest (1 episode)
Rake 2010–14Kirsty CorellaRecurring role (11 episodes)
Top of the Lake 2013AnitaMain role (series 1; 7 episodes)
Agent Anna 2013–14Anna KingstonLead role; also executive producer
Upper Middle Bogan 2013–16Julie WheelerMain role
Charlotte: A Life Without Limbs2014PresenterTelevision documentary
The Brokenwood Mysteries 2015Ruth PhelpsEpisode: "To Die or Not to Die"
The Principal 2015SonyaGuest role (1 episode)
Wanted 2016–18Donna WalshRecurring role (10 episodes)
The Code 2016Marina BaxterMain role (series 2: 6 episodes)
Wake in Fright 2017Ursula Hynesminiseries
Harrow 2018–presentMaxine PavichMain role
Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You 2018Irene Newton-Johnminiseries
The Outpost 2018–19ElinorMain role (season 1–2: 23 episodes)
Dagger-14-plain.pngDenotes television series that have not yet been aired


1988 The Threepenny Opera Lucy Brown Downstage Theatre
1988The Rivers of ChinaVariousDownstage Theatre
1988Les Liaisons dangereusesCecile de ValongesDownstage Theatre
1988JudyVariousDownstage Theatre
1988Jones & JonesIda BakerDownstage Theatre
1988GullsPuppeteerDownstage Theatre
1989 Twelfth Night Viola BATS Theatre
1989The Horse of Bernada AlbaMartirioDownstage Theatre
1989 Othello Bianca Downstage Theatre
1989Aunt DaisyVariousDownstage Theatre
1990Sweet NothingsVariousNZ Tour
1990 Serious Money Mary Lou Baines / VariousDownstage Theatre
1990 Macbeth Ross / Hecate Downstage Theatre
1990 Hamlet Ophelia BATS Theatre
1990End of the Golden WeatherVariousDownstage Theatre
1990Conquest of the South PoleLa BraukmanBATS Theatre
1991WeedRaewyn Circa Theatre
1991Via SatelliteChrissyCirca Theatre
1991 The Importance of Being Earnest Cecily CardewDownstage Theatre
1991Songs for Uncle ScrimVariousCirca Theatre
1991A Pack of GirlsRaewynDownstage Theatre
1993 Two Weeks with the Queen VariousCirca Theatre
1993Lettice & LovageMiss FarmerCirca Theatre
1995 Othello Emilia Watershed Theatre
1999 Much Ado About Nothing BeatriceDownstage Theatre
2000 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Maggie the CatDownstage Theatre
2000 A Midsummer Night's Dream Titania NZ Actors Company
2001A Way of LifeJennyNZ Actors Company
2001 A Midsummer Night's Dream TitaniaNZ Actors Company
2002 Middle-Age Spread Judy Auckland Theatre Company
2002Queen LeahKent / CaiusNZ Actors Company
2005 The Duchess of Malfi CariollaAuckland Theatre Company
2007 The Cut Susan Silo Theatre
2010 Happy Days Winnie Silo Theatre
2014 The Good Person of Szechwan Shen TehAuckland Theatre Company

Personal life

Malcolm has two sons. [9] Her sister is married to Roger Sutton, the former CEO of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. [10]


Malcolm voiced Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand advertisements for the New Zealand general election, 2008. [11]

Malcolm has helped spearhead an actors' union campaign to negotiate standard contracts for actors in The Hobbit films. The producers refused, saying that collective bargaining would be considered price-fixing and therefore illegal under New Zealand law. The situation escalated into international calls for an actors' boycott of the films, but the boycott was called off. Several days later, the producers said they were considering moving the films to another country as they could not be guaranteed stability in New Zealand. [12] In response, the ruling National Party made several controversial changes to New Zealand's employment laws, and passed legislation explicitly controlling people working on the Hobbit movies.

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  2. Neville, Alice (21 March 2010). "TV stars' outrageous sexiness". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  4. Collins, Simon (21 July 2009). "Celebs go toe-to-toe on smacks". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  5. Hughes, Andrew; Wix, Olivia (26 November 2009). "The Job Tour: Movie and acting careers in Wellington". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  6. "Artists take their talent to the world". The New Zealand Herald. 22 May 2003. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  7. "Westie named NZ's sexiest woman". 15 November 2007. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  8. "Queen's Birthday honours list 2019". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 3 June 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  9. Fraser, Fiona (16 August 2010). "Robyn Malcolm's double life". New Zealand Woman's Weekly . Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  10. Hampton, Jeff. "Unconventional lines man appointed new quake boss". TV3 News. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  11. "Future focus at Green campaign launch". 5 October 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  12. Paul Harper, Derek Cheng and Amelia Wade (21 October 2010). "Hobbit loss 'potential tragedy for NZ film'". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 5 November 2011.